There’s a number of questions one might ask before trying out bungee jumping for the first time. Also, it seems there’s one question people like to ask Google quite a lot. It goes something like this: is there a weight limit for bungee jumping? The answer’s pretty simple: there is. Still, those two words can’t really satisfy anyone’s curiosity.
Since you’re reading this, there’s a good chance you’ve typed the same question into your search bar. Needless to say, you’re at the right address. In the article you’ll find below, we’ll show you exactly what is the weight limit for bungee jumping. Stick around!
The weight limit differs from site to site. They mostly start at around 35 kg (77 lbs) and end at about 110-130 kg (243-287 lbs). These restrictions are important since bungee site operators will have to adjust the rope in accordance with your weight. Also, if you were wondering does height play a role here – it doesn’t!
Table of Contents
The origins of bungee jumping
Before we talk about our main topic for today, it might be good to see where it all started. In other words: let’s see where and when bungee jumping originated.
…tells us bungee jumping first emerged on the famous Pentecost Island in the South Pacific. That’s exactly where, during WWII (when western folks first visited the island), this native custom became visible to the rest of the world.
According to the locals, the legend goes something like this: one of the native people (called Tamalie) was abusing his wife, so she fled. She climbed a very tall tree in order to hide from her abusive spouse. Unfortunately, he found her hiding place and climbed right after. While he was climbing his way to the top, she used that time to tie up lianas around her ankles. At the same moment when Tamalie tried to catch her, she leaped from the tree. He jumped after her, only to hit the ground below and die.
Continuation of the legend
After the events above happened, men from the village started practicing the liana jump. Just so their wives couldn’t outsmart them once again. They did this by building a 28-meter tall jumping tower. Before taking something of a leap of faith, each man had to ritually bathe and then climb the tower. Then his wife would be brought to the tower and listen to her husband’s criticism in front of the whole community. After the man’s protest, he had to jump, head down, in order to prove his manhood.
This ritual is alive even today. It’s a widely-popular tourist attraction. It gained true worldwide popularity in 1955 when Electa and Irving Johnson published an article on the ritual in the National Geographic magazine.
Copycats or how bungee jumping became a modern sport
We can pinpoint the exact beginning of bungee jumping as we know it today. It all began on the first of April, 1979. when members of the Oxford’s Dangerous Sports Club did a couple of (downright illegal) leaps from an 80-meter high bridge in Bristol. Of course, this stunt attracted mass publicity and the main perpetrators were put in prison for a couple of days. Still, it didn’t stop others from copying what they did.
After they’ve heard of the incident, American soldiers tried the same thing. There’s a good reason why they did it! At the time, the American Army used ribbon cords for parachutes. Bungee jumping with those wasn’t exactly the most pleasant of experiences, but it got the job done. After this, these stunts became more and more frequent. That being said, it was only a matter of time before the first commercial bungee jumping site will open to adrenaline seekers all over the world.
Flash-forward to the year 1989. New Zealand’s own adventurer (at the time, anonymous) Alan John Hackett, commonly known only as A. J. starts the first commercial bungee site the world has seen. Its location is in Queenstown, NZ. This proved financially beneficial for A. J. and he became an authority in the world of bungee jumping. Needless to mention, others have followed in his footsteps, and now this sport brings millions of people around the globe together.
Is bungee jumping a safe sport?
We’ll try to be quick and concise here. You’re more likely to get killed by being stung by a bee or riding a bicycle. That’s how safe it is! The chances of you becoming a bungee jumping casualty are 500.000 to 1.
It’s pretty safe to say (no pun intended) that one shouldn’t be scared of trying out this wonderful sport. So, shall we see what’s the weight limit for bungee jumping?
What is the weight limit for bungee jumping?
The weight limit for bungee jumping differs from place to place. Don’t worry! We’re not going to give you the average number or go into the official statistic. Instead, we’ll give you a summary of the most interesting bungee jumping locations around the world and the weight limits they propose. Stick around!
A quick disclaimer: There are plenty of fantastic bungee sites all around the world. The dimensions of this article will, of course, require some of them to stay unmentioned. We’re sorry in advance.
Okay, let’s start out with the birthplace of modern bungee jumping. The most popular sites in NZ were founded by the aforementioned father of bungee jumping as we know it today, A.J. Hackett, in Queensland. So, here they are:
- Kawarau Bridge. Height: 43 m. Each year, over 38k people try jumping from this bridge. The weight limit is between 35 kg (77 lbs) and 127 kg (280 lbs).
- Nevis Bungy. Height: 134 m. The third highest platform in the world. The weight limit is between 45 kg (99 lbs) and 127 kg (280 lbs).
- Ledge Bungy. Height: 47 m. There’s only one word to describe this one: breathtaking. The weight limit is the same as at Kawarau Bridge.
The USA is well-known as the home to some of the most diverse jumps in the world (well, it’s a big country). Here are our picks:
- Highway Bridge 21, Idaho. Height: 30 m. The weight limit is between 52 kg (115 lbs) and 102 kg (225 lbs).
- Bridge to Nowhere, California. Height: 37 m. The name says it all. The weight limit is between 36 kg (80 lbs) and 120 kg (265 lbs).
- Navajo Bridge, Arizona. Height: 141. 5 m. Located near the Grand Canyon. The weight limit is between 50 kg (110 lbs) and 100 kg (220 lbs).
In some cases, sites around the USA will let you (legally) break the weight limit. For example, if you’re trying out San Gabriel Canyon bungee site in California, they’ll probably let you jump even if you weigh more than the proposed 120 kg (265 lbs). Although you’ll have to cough up a $30 fee.
This country is pretty infamous (in a good way) for its stunning bungee jumping locations. It was hard to make a selection, but here’s what we came up with:
- Bloukrans Bridge. Height: 216 m. Probably the world’s highest bungee site. The weight limit is between 35 kg (77 lbs) and 150 kg (331 lbs).
- Bungee Mogale. Height: 50 m. A marvelous bungee site in Krugersdorp, Mogale City. The weight limit is between 40 kg (88 lbs) and 100 kg (220 lbs).
- Orlando Towers, Soweto. Height: 100 m. The weight limit is between 35 kg (77 lbs) to 110 kg (243 lbs).
Why are weight limits so important?
Alright, let’s see why would anyone care about these weight limits.
As one can easily notice, there’s a good chance most of our readers fulfill the weight requirement on most of these sites. Still, you’ll have to be weighed before you jump. That’s because your weight will have a huge influence on how the bungee jump performs. In other words: the bungee operators need to set things up in accordance with your weight. They’ll have to measure you and then calculate which rope you’ll use for jumping.
Lastly, are there any height restrictions?
There shouldn’t be any. You won’t find a bungee site that has a height requirement section on its prospect. No matter how short or tall are you, you’ll be able to jump from most of the sites we’ve mentioned above.
What is the weight limit for bungee jumping? – a summary
As always, here at Go Extreme Sports, it’s time for a we’re-nearing-the-end-of-the-article summary. So, what did we learn today about weight limits in bungee jumping?
Well, it depends on what country and which site are we talking about. Still, there’s a good chance most of our readers are fit enough to fulfill the requirements set by most of the sites. Also, there are no height limitations. There are no “you must be this tall…” signs in and around bungee jumping sites.
That’s about it, dear adventure-loving folks! Hope you’ve had some fun reading this one! For more tips on bungee jumping, visit this page.